Tracheal Stenosis

What is it?
Tracheal stenosis is a term that describes the narrowing of a tubular structure.  Tracheal stenosis implies a narrowing of the trachea, which may lead to obstructed breathing and dyspnea.  Tracheal stenosis can be caused by external or internal trauma, previous surgeries, prolonged intubation, radiation/chemoradiation, chronic aspiration of reflux, or from unknown causes.  In young children, the stenosis can be congenital.

How is it treated?
Tracheal stenosis treatment is dependent on the site and severity of stenosis.  Some patient may require a tracheostomy tube.  Patients may be candidates for a variety of endoscopic, minimally-invasive procedures to open the airway and improve breathing, which may include the use of special adjunct medications to optimize wound healing.  Others may require open surgery for airway reconstruction using special techniques to augment airway caliber.